Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Though Statoil ASA is fairly active in its development operations, we remain apprehensive as the company’s production has been facing hiccups of late. The company has lowered its spending and its financial flexibility is getting increasingly restricted. The currently weak commodity price environment adds to the woes. With crude prices anticipated to remain weak throughout 2016, Statoil’s revenues and earnings will likely remain stressed. Moreover, with major projects scheduled to be commissioned in coming years any project delays and capital spending deferrals may adversely affect the company’s profitability. Considering these factors, we see Statoil as a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Statoil ASA from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Statoil ASA from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. HSBC upgraded Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Societe Generale upgraded Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, DNB Markets upgraded Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $15.53.

Shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) traded up 0.13% on Tuesday, hitting $15.12. The company had a trading volume of 665,843 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $15.90 and a 200-day moving average of $16.23. Statoil ASA has a 12-month low of $10.89 and a 12-month high of $17.94. The firm’s market capitalization is $48.10 billion.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.2201 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.83%. Statoil ASA’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -229.72%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. bought a new position in shares of Statoil ASA during the first quarter valued at approximately $234,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in shares of Statoil ASA by 68.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 3,018,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,966,000 after buying an additional 1,231,200 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Statoil ASA by 12.2% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 532,977 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,293,000 after buying an additional 57,795 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP boosted its position in shares of Statoil ASA by 980.5% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 47,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $816,000 after buying an additional 42,819 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Statoil ASA during the first quarter valued at approximately $6,964,000. 5.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Statoil ASA

Statoil ASA is an energy company, engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities. The Company’s segments include Development and Production Norway (DPN), Development and Production USA (DPUSA), Development and Production International (DPI), Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP), New Energy Solutions (NES), and Other.

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